An Interactive One That Just Might Bore You.

On this, the birthday of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of City Lights, I'm celebrating poetry and poets. Keen to new talent and power of change, Ferlinghetti knew, when seeing and hearing Ginsberg's Howl for the first time, that American literature would never be the same.

Last week, I couldn't stop thinking of this line:
I tell you now, the glacier may take years to advance, but it never stops moving.

It's one of my all-time favorite* lines of poetry, but I couldn't remember who wrote it. Convinced that it was Gary Snyder, I paged through my tattered and highlighted copies of Riprap, Mountains and Rivers With No End, No Nature and even The High Sierra of California for good measure. Nothing.

Then I thought, "Maybe it's Billy Collins. It could be Billy Collins." So I grabbed Sailing Alone Around the Room and re-read his perfect, precise words. My favorite of his, another that ranks among the greats, is "On Turning Ten." The spectacular part of that poem, the moment of connection, of empathy and regret, comes here:

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.
But it wasn't from one of Billy Collins' poems, that line I was reciting over and over. And countless variances of "poem + glacier+ advance + never stops moving" yielded little in the way of the mystery poet.

But then I found it. I can't remember how, what combination of words ultimately led me to it, but suddenly, there it was.

The Kiss, by Jean Monahan
We've been saying something like this

For months: Slow-ripened sounds

Wafting out of our mouths the way

The hot sweet sweat of cut hay

Whispers and lifts out of a noon field;

Setting each other in our sights

The way the black and whits and staring eye

Of the egret fishes; with precision

Interpreting the light, the ridged waves

The streaked and mottled back of the catch;

Leaning nearer, close enough to watch

The beloved vein in the neck fire, see

Salt on the lip, the whole forest smoking

As the meteorite burns a swath.

I tell you now, the glacier may take years to advance,

But it never stops moving.

The eyes of the wolf are bigger

And hungrier than we remember.

Look at how my mouth years toward yours.

Far at sea, a small swell aims for shore.

And all this talk of poetry has me thinking about scansion and form and meters, of balancing love of language with reverence for structure. It has me looking into the Napa Writers' Conference and justifying both its expense and the effort of getting accepted. It's not hard to come up with a manuscript or 5 poems before April, right?

Actually, I could probably do that. I could even write in falling dactyls, my favorite, the long-short-short of them offering finality and decision. (Dactyls are most commonly written in hexameter, with 6 metrical feet per line, a form known as Heroic Hexameter, popular with Greek Masters and political speech writers.)

*Another favorite, this stanza:
"Bless you. You came back,
So I could see you once more, plainly,
So I could rest against you
Without thinking this happiness lessened anything,
Without thinking you were alive again."

(Those lines come from
Mark Doty's The Embrace and never fail to remind me of the first time I heard Doty read, in 1997. He's coming to Utah, to a university about 2 hours away, in early April. I'll be making the drive that night.)


A Tangent in Two Parts

My friend Majka has a beautiful article in the current issue of Climbing. Like alot of us, Majka has lost many friends to our sport, several of them also friends of mine. Their stories are always the same, “they went before their time, they had so much potential, they were too young.”

Majka’s article includes a poignant passage about the pregnant widows some of these men have left behind, and it got me thinking about choices. The choice to continue pursuing something dangerous, even though it’s not just about you anymore, versus the choice to give up something that makes you who you are, even if it contains an element of danger.

And that’s where the offhanded, go-to statement, “at least he died doing what he loved,” fails me. I absolutely hate that statement. I hear it way too often, and every time I do, I want to respond with, “well, actually, if he’d have known that he would die climbing today, I’m pretty sure he’d have opted for a trail run instead.”

But…maybe not. Many years ago I met a man who told me that his happiest times are when he’s completely alone in the mountains, running around and soloing and lost in his thoughts. I probably told him I felt similarly, because I wanted him to think of me as a kindred spirit, but in truth, I never understood that side of him. I never understood what it was about the mountains that were alluring to the point of courting death, just like I think a lot of those pregnant widows never expected to be single moms.

And that’s what breaks my heart. We fall in love with these men who push their limits in the mountains, but at the same time, we make plans to share a life with them.

It took a long time for me to be able to admit that I don’t enjoy being alone in the mountains, that I don’t enjoy suffering and that no route – no matter how incredible the climbing – is worth dying in its pursuit.

Then Marit wrote a post about her friend, Christine, who she misses dearly.

And it got me thinking.

I miss my dead friends every day. I think of their faces – so young and happy. I think of where I last saw them, of our final conversations. They haunt and comfort me. Their deaths fill me with fear and motivate me into action.

Sometimes I look at our friends, especially the young ones who are still restless and wild, and fear that I’ll be attending their memorial services – the ones where their parents fly out, from the East Coast or the Mid-West, trying to understand what it was about the West that so captivated their children, that lured them deeper into the mountains, what it was that, ultimately, killed them.

I know it’s fatalistic and unhealthy, thinking this way. And Brad’s typically logical response to my brooding is, “then live as much as you can while you’re here.”

And he’s right, I know. It’s important to die with no regrets. There are country songs, fortune cookies, Hallmark Cards and Lifetime Television For Women movies suggesting as much. There are probably bible verses, too, but I wouldn’t know about those.

But I can’t help it; I do have regrets. I regret that I didn’t tell Zack how much I appreciated his friendship, how much I respected him. I remember the first time I met him, at the Hungry Toad in Boulder, the night before he and Joe Vallone left for a climbing trip to Peru, I think. I was with Leah; there were other people there – Dan Gambino, maybe? I knew very quickly that Zack and I would be friends; he was easy to talk to, he was nice to me.

We did become great friends. Over the span of a few years, Zack and I climbed together, took roadtrips together, sang Greatful Dead songs through the boring stretches of Western Colorado and Eastern Utah, drank bottomless cups of coffee, spent hours in Trident – him with his schoolbooks, me with my journal. A couple times we even slept in the same bed, though there was never a question that we were just friends, that we both just needed a place to crash, and for that I loved him all the more. I miss him. I would have liked to introduce him to Brad; they would have gotten along well.

And I regret that I didn’t spend more time with Chris. I remember the last conversation we had. It was at the OR Show, and he was dressed all snappy. As a housemate, I’d seen Chris in sweats and chalked-up climbing clothes and old t-shirts, but never really dressed like the urban hipster that I secretly always thought he was. I thought then, in the line for free coffee at the Royal Robbins booth, that my housemate and friend had lots of facets I hadn't yet seen, that I should make it a priority to get to know him. He died ice climbing the next day.

I was skinning up Flagstaff around mid-day when I got the call from Brad. It was strange; he was busy with OR and shouldn’t have been calling then.

“What’s up, honey?” I kept skinning while I talked, slightly out of breath.

He sounded strained. “I’m on my way home. I left the show early. Where are you?”

“I’m skinning up Flag. Come meet me!”

“No,” he sounded really odd. “Just come home as soon as you can. I have to talk to you.”

Something wasn’t right. I knew it then. Brad would never leave a work obligation early. He’s not that kind of guy. Plus he sounded super tense. As I ripped my skins and skied to the truck, I decided that Brad was going to divorce me. That was the reason for the tension, the weirdness. (I’m such a fucking idiot sometimes.)

Turns out, he drove home to tell me the news of Chris’s death in person. I sank to the floor, staring at the carpet and trying to let the words sink in. “Chris Hunnicutt died today.”

Brad used his full name, I still remember that. So there would be no confusion, no doubt. So I couldn’t say, “Not our housemate Chris. Not him, right?”

I still feel Chris’s presence in our house sometimes. His family told us that Chris was happier in Utah than he’d ever been in his life, and it breaks my heart to think that I never told him how much we appreciated him. How kind we thought he was, what a good friend. How much we respected him.

And then, all of a sudden, a moment of absolute presence, of clarity. One came a few nights ago, leaving Mazza with Nicole and walking down the sidewalk toward our cars. Our paths diverged, and after we said goodbye and promised to see each other again soon, I walked on, my truck half a block ahead.

And in that moment: awareness. It had just rained, and the sidewalk was dotted with little puddles where the concrete dipped or cracked. Just after dusk, the sky was peacock blue, the shade J. Crew calls “Regal Purple” and Pantone calls 2685C. The restored bungalows along 15th Street were lit from within, creating warmth and comfort. “This is my home,” I thought. “I live here.”

And I breathed in the dusty air, the scent of spring and grass, of opportunity and atonement, and got into the truck and drove toward the canyons, toward home.

I'm Going to Do This.

Brad will be away much of Spring. He's got a big climbing goal he needs to take care of, and last night, as I got to thinking about how much time I'll have on my own in the coming months, I decided that I should make something of that time.
I'm not emotionally psyched for a big climbing goal, so instead, I signed up for the Steamboat Marathon.

It's in 9 weeks.

I know, after last time, I swore I'd never do something like this again - sign up for a race I hadn't properly prepared for. But the thing is, most marathon training guides I've seen are 16 weeks long, and the first 5 weeks are so low mileage that I'm already hitting those marks. So I figure if I just start the program at week 5, I'll be on track in no time.




Without Missing a Beat.

One of my projects at work involves a Mother's Day Promotion, so after concepting headline ideas and slowly turning stupid, I decided to poll my office mates.

"What's the first thing you think of when you hear the phrase 'Mother's Day?'" I asked Mario.


Thanks for that, Big M. Stay classy.


I Want. I Make. I Have.

I adore this necklace. I saw it today and desperately wanted it, though its $250 price tag prevented me from clicking "add to cart."

I've seen similar designs in the yoga community, Chakra jewelry. As I studied the version for Free People, I thought, "If I'd made that necklace, I'd have paid more attention to the symbolism of the colors; I'd have chosen beads that imbue the natural world."

So I did.

After work, I met the lovely and talented Nicole at our local bead store, where she helped me select beads and wire. I chose clear, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple beads to represent the base, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras, respectively. (Learn more about all that stuff here.)

I found other beads and charms to symbolize concepts that are often on my mind: a feather for freedom, a bird for journey, a leaf for change and a small wooden oval for strength.

I added two turquoise beads because both Native Americans and Sherpa lore suggests that turquoise enhances communication and guards against evil.

And then I strung it together.

It's not perfect, and as I look at it I see elements I'd change for Katie's Necklace Version 2.0, but it cost far less than $250, and it's far more me than anything I could have purchased. I'm excited to wear it tomorrow.

Here's a closer look, and kindly ignore the dirty carpet.

(I also love this necklace, also designed by Beth Orduna, who is close to usurping Jeanine Payer as my favorite jewelry artist.)


The One I Haven't Written.

A few weekends ago, Brad and I went to Boulder to visit Megan and Ward. It was wonderful to meet the man who makes my friend so happy, and as I'd expected, Ward is a helluva guy. Funny. Supportive. Smart. Skilled at making things out of wood and steel. Nice to be around. I really like him.

In addition to meeting Ward and hanging out with Megan, Boulder afforded Brad the opportunity to climb with his buddy Fremont in Eldorado Canyon, which is one of my favorite places in the world. I didn’t climb, but I did boulder a bit on Sunday.

I miss Boulder almost as much as I miss Megan, who has been a sound voice in my life since our first run to the old airstrip in Carbondale, probably a month after we met. (That private airstrip, incidentally, is reportedly how Hunter S. Thompson got his drugs into Aspen. Entirely hearsay, but nevertheless, running up to it always made me feel part of the Gonzo Journalism movement.)

Megan is far kinder and more forgiving than I am, and her actions always make me act a little more nicely than I otherwise would. At the same time, she’s got a better sense of humor than 99.9% of the people in the world, and can make me laugh like few others. David Sedaris and Stephen Colbert excepted. Oh, and Germans. The Germans always make me laugh, with their “make photo” and their, “Schnell! Schnell!”

Saturday, after wandering through town and patronizing my favorite outdoor store (I needed new climbing shoes, and I like to support Outdoor Divas as much as possible), I went for a beautiful run up the Creek Path and into Boulder Canyon. Along the way, I passed moms pushing Chariots, adolescents pushing drugs, professional runners (actually, they passed me), speed-walking co-eds, labs straining against their leashes, homeless people sleeping on blankets, drummers pounding out beats, frat boys tossing footballs, high school girls trying to get their attention, old men mediating, couples napping by the river, families picnicking in the shade by the library and cyclists trying to cross town. It was Boulder – all of it mixed up and interacting – as diverse and beautiful as I remember. (It really is diverse, even though many people would have you believe otherwise.)

The night before, when Brad and I got into town, we went with Megan and Ward to the Med, which was always one of my favorite restaurants. As soon as we walked in, we saw two old friends, Chuck and Jonny, and found a small table in a crowded section across from the rowdy bar. Perfect. I’m not being sarcastic; it was perfect. It was busy and noisy and hard to hear and overwhelming, and it was nice to just sit with friends and drink vodka lemonades and talk and soak in the Boulder of it all: college girls dressed like hookers, dirty climbers with leaves in their hair, older academics frowning around and playboys out-talking each other at the bar. Everyone was different, and everyone was fine with that. I think I saw Matisyahu, but Megan says it wasn’t him.

Over the weekend, Megan and I went for a couple hikes around Flagstaff and Chautauqua, and I realized how much I miss her company, her advice and the Front Range.

As Brad and I walked through the parking lot of the Salt Lake airport after landing Sunday night, I focused on the thwacks of our wheelie bags rolling over the cracks in the pavement.

Boulder was my first great love, even though my years there weren’t always easy and blissful. In fact, they were peppered with hard lessons, heartbreak and loneliness, but still Boulder remains foremost in my heart, the setting for many of my fondest memories and a place I'd love to live someday with Brad and Arnie and Red.

Thwack, step step, thwack. Brad sped up on the down-ramp, and I shifted my interest from thwacking in unison to thwacking on opposing beats - first his heavy bag (filled with climbing gear), thwack, then my light one (filled with clothing that I didn’t need or wear), thwack. Thwack thwack.

I wondered if anyone else does things like that - listen for rhythms or actively change course to create rhythms out of the banal. I suppose the childhood warning, "step on a crack, break your mother's back," is of the same vein – a superstition that affects kids' footing the way my need for emotional stability affects my thwacking of wheelie bags.

It's probably not normal, but it’s a defense mechanism I use to avoid thinking about the things that might hurt, the things I’d rather avoid. It provided my mind with a safe task that didn't involve picturing the Flatirons at dusk, or the Mesa Trail at Dawn, or climbing in Eldorado after work. It allowed me some presence instead of situating me firmly in my life 10 years ago, when I arrived in Boulder a naive intern.



I’m excited for the end of the workday, when it will still be light and I can take Arnie running in the mountains. It’s Spring – I don’t care what the calendar says – and my favorite time of year in the Wasatch. It’s cool enough to climb in the sun, warm enough to run in shorts and the days are long enough to be outside till I’m tired.

Our weekend plans changed; we didn’t drive to Indian Creek. Honey had a head cold and I was kind of tired from a long week. We kind of relaxed on Saturday – with intermittent trail runs, gym climbing and longboarding – and yesterday went climbing in Little Cottonwood canyon.

Our backyard and home crag, I have a love/hate relationship with Little Cottonwood. When I arrived in Utah three years ago, I marched into the canyon expecting to send everything in a season. What followed was a season of me getting my ass kicked, crying, screaming and declaring climbing to be stupid.

I worked very hard to avoid climbing in Little Cottonwood last season – “It’s too hot/crowded/overrun with rattlesnakes (true)/scary (also true)” – but now I’m excited to explore it. I’m even being cautious about the routes I get on, and working hard to not get in over my head on climbs that are too hard for me.

Is it possible that I’ve matured? Maybe, but doubtful. I think I just have a healthier sense of fear than I did when I moved here, meaning, I actually think while I climb. Brad used to holler at me to place more gear, and I’d look down to realize that I was 20 feet above my last piece. “Huh, look at that,” I’d think, wiggling in a stopper and shrugging. Now I holler at him to toss me extra cams because I’ve already placed my double set ofcams and all my stoppers and I still have 60 feet to the anchor.

(I’m not going to explain that, even though I know lots of you aren’t climbers and won’t know what the hell I’m talking about. Suffice it to say that I’ve crossed the line from dumb-but-brave to smart-but-unbelievably-chicken.)

But yesterday was wonderful. It was around 55 or 60 degrees, sunny and clear, and the rock temperature was perfect for the frictiony slapping that Little Cottonwood demands.

We went to the Mexican Crack area, and started on a mellow, 2-pitch finger crack. Well, it used to feel mellow. It felt kind of hard yesterday, but that’s all part of getting in granite climbing shape, I guess. We moved on to Mexican Crack proper, as well as some nondescript pitch beside it and a moderate 3-pitch route around the corner.

We were climbing with Brittany and JT, who are hilarious. JT is in standard form in his picture, which I took. I stole the picture of Brittany, who is a total badass. I think I took it from the Patagonia website. (That’s right, Patagonia, I stole it from under your titanium-frame-bespectacled noses.)

Anyway, it’s really fun to climb with these two. They’ve traveled to some of the more interesting parts of the world to climb, including Siberia and Oman, and I love to hear about their adventures, which remind me that even though I don’t climb all that much anymore, and when I do climb it’s often in the gym, there are still lots of routes out there waiting for me. Waiting for Brad and me. Big routes with long approaches and lots of pitches and beautiful settings. Routes that require air travel then bus travel then wooden-cart-and-mule travel.

Little Cottonwood felt like home yesterday. I’m looking forward to going back up there later this week, like I'm looking forward to big routes in faraway mountains, like I look forward to the Spring.

The Wasatch Report: Now 100% LOUDER!

I’ve already lambasted you with my opinions (and god love you, you’re still reading); now I’m going to infiltrate your ears, too.

You’ve been warned. But don’t worry; it won’t ALL be the Boss and Jewel. I’ll try to vary the sound.


Celebrate something every day.

Marit asked what I'm celebrating today.

I'm celebrating this: The official start of climbing season.

Tonight, Brad and the boys (Arnie & Red) and I will hop into the van and drive to Indian Creek, (a climbing area outside Moab) for the weekend. I love weekends in Spring and Fall: leaving town Friday night, giddily anticipating a sunny weekend spent entirely outside. Arriving at the campsite after dark and just crashing, exhausted from the lone drive. The promise of Brad waking me up before sunrise with a cup of strong black coffee, just the way I like it. The day starting out cold enough for hats and down jackets, but warming up to shorts weather by mid-day. Good friends, laughing, trying hard, encouraging each other, getting sandy and dirty from climbs that have been rained and snowed on all winter. Being totally drained at the end of the day, drinking a glass of wine next to a campfire (depending on the camping rules, of course), falling asleep as soon as you close your eyes, and waking up stiff and sore and convinced you can't possibly climb until you step out of the van and look at the cliffs, pink and orange in the light of the rising sun, and suddenly you can't wait to get up there.

And I'm also celebrating the kindness of others. Bloggers I've never met offering supportive words, people I've just met helping me through a tough time, family members calling and emailing and reminding me that I'm loved. I'm a lucky person. I have an incredible support system, and I'm grateful for that.

Thanks, everyone. Have a great weekend.


In response.

Yeah, I was vague. Sort of intentionally, because I don't like to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

So here's the deal:

When I was little, I developed a huge fear of being kidnapped. It kept me up at night, it kept me constantly vigilant and fearful. It's important to note that I grew up in very safe and peaceful rural suburbia. Nevertheless, instead of sitting on the backseat of my mom's Jeep Cherokee, I sat behind the driver's seat, on the floor. I was afraid that if the kidnappers saw me, they'd come after me and hurt my mom in the process. I wasn't quite as scared when my dad was in the car, too, but I still regarded every car we passed or that passed us with wariness and suspicion. This couldn't have been normal - an otherwise healthy 8 year old with so little trust in the world - but that's how it was. I got over it eventually, though I still imagined horrible harm with a weird clarity. Driving home from a friend's house at 16, I was so worried about a driver behind me (I thought he was following me so he could run me off the road and kill me) that I called 911. Of course the guy wasn't following me, but that wasn't the last time I called 911 with such concerns.

After high school I spent a year in Sweden before going to college. After the darkest winter imaginable (though I did see the northern lights at like 4 pm, which was very cool), I was dying for sunlight. I went to the Canary Islands - Fuerteventura - with a friend to recover from the season of endless night. On our last night there, I was walking alone from a restaurant to our hotel and was abducted and assaulted by a coked-out local who'd probably seen me leave. I'm fine - I'm so lucky - but it's not lost on me that I'd spent years fearing what had ultimately come to pass.

That's why the comment about how constant worrying can become a prayer for the negative. The comment about object fixation; it interests me because I think it's very true, and not just in mountain biking.

And as for inner peace, well, when I'm raging inside, I think about this, the siren song of tortured (or, ahem, melodramatic) artists:
"one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."
-Frederich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, part I


It happens every year.

Yesterday’s attempts at inner peace didn’t work, and last night I was irritable, moody, impatient and sad. Poor Brad is a little bit nervous to be around me right now, and I don’t blame him.

Because I was too ill at ease to go to bed, I stayed up late dealing with iPod and iPhone issues. It wasn’t going well (syncing, restoring, losing things…totally annoying), which did nothing to improve my mood. After only making things worse for my sleek little black units, I gave up and went to bed, where I decided to read to help quiet my mind.

I’m reading a typical chick lit novel featuring fashion and friends and men. Normal stuff for the genre. Predictable. It’s set in Dublin and London and for the duration of the book didn’t stray from those locations. Then, in the last chapter, one of the characters up and went to Fuerteventura of all places.

Remember my post about coincidences? Well this is the king of all chance happenings. It shocked me so much I almost threw up.

Fuerteventura is what I’ve been trying not to think about for the last 12 years. Fuerteventura is what has been making me irritable and moody and impatient and sad last night. Fuerteventura is actually causing me physical pain this year – aches and nausea, a headache and tremendous tightness in my neck and shoulders. I think it was Fuerteventura that nearly kept me in bed two Sundays in a row – the effort of lifting my head from the pillow seemingly monumental.

I’d almost forgotten its name. I talked about the Canary Islands a few times a year, but nothing specific. I certainly haven’t said – or seen – its name in a long, long time.

I have very few memories of that trip. I don’t remember flying there. I don’t remember being in either airport – Stockholm’s or Fuerteventura’s. I don’t remember checking a bag, but I’m sure I did because I’ve never packed lightly in my life. I don’t remember how Lisa, my friend from Sweden, and I got to the hotel or what it even looked like. I have no idea how I got my bag packed and got to the airport. I must have slept through the majority of the flight, though I remember waking at one point and wondering if it had all bee a dream.

I also remember that I the only book I took on that trip was Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. Nice, light beach reading. I remember this because in the ensuing 12 years, I shudder and get chills whenever I see it referenced.

Is it any wonder that I stick to Chick Lit and magazines now?

So tomorrow is an anniversary of sorts. 12 years since I was in Fuerteventura and the course of my life was forever altered. Sometimes I wonder how I’d have turned out if none of it had ever happened. If I’d made it back to the hotel safely, or if I’d never have gone away for Spring Break in the first place. If I’d never gone to Sweden. Who would I be? Would I have gone to Penn State? Would I have stayed in Pennsylvania or on the East Coast somewhere? Would I have fallen in love with the mountains? Would I have met and married Brad?

But then, I like who I’ve become in so many ways. I like that I think to protect myself, that I’m not na├»ve. I like that

Right now I feel a little bit like Derek Zoolander outside the coal miners’ bar, asking God for advice just seconds before his very tiny phone rings. And just like they did nothing to help Zoolander, these questions aren’t going to help me. It’s a waste of time to wonder about how things would be different, because they aren't.

In a yoga class recently, my instructor mentioned that focusing on the negative was like “praying for things we don’t want.” In mountain biking, if you look at an obstacle, you’ll run right into it. It’s called object fixation. The goal, then, is to look where you want to go instead of at the tree, the rock, the huge and scary drop-off.

So now, instead of continuing to dwell in this place, this memory, this pain, I am going to focus on where I want to be, on HOW I want to be.



Patient. er.


From Grrrr to Great.

Here are a few things I don’t like:
  • People I work with appropriating my ideas and passing them off as their own.
  • The same people publicly mocking me shortly after stealing my ideas.
  • Those very same people then admonishing me for not knowing to proceed with my idea, even though my confusion stemmed entirely from my idea being stolen by someone who, I thought, would maintain ownership of said idea, even though doing so would require some actual work.
I am filled with hate, and I don't like feeling this way.

This morning, my Daily Inner Peace Card said to focus on inner peace (duh), and reminded me that there are two ways to look at everything - the violent way and the peaceful way. I can choose to be peaceful right now. I can choose to realize that this is a very small moment in the big picture, and that when the world is over, what will really matter are things like:

My family, my pack (Brad and the dogs), my friends.

My health - I'm so lucky.

One day going to Argentina where Brad and I will rock climb and beach (verb) and pet the friendly goats and donkeys. Before eating them. Just kidding.

Being nearly brought to my knees by the beauty of the sunrise this morning, and thinking to myself, "This is my home. I live in this place."

And aside from the momentary work-related yuck, I'll tell you why this day has been otherwise wonderful:

Brad and I woke up at 4:40 and prepared for our fun morning adventures. He went skiing and I went for a medium-length hill run with Arnie and Red, then met the lovely Ms. Fish in the pool. (The nickname stems from her last name as well as the grace with which she moves through the water. Truly inspiring as I paddle and gasp along beside her.) The day remains beautiful, and the light slanting through my window is warm and golden. Tonight, Brad and I have a delicious and healthy dinner planned, as well as pack-time with the boys and a fire.

So now, by the end of this post, I've shifted from, "I'm goddamned done with this, I'm quitting today!" to "Wow, my life is full of so many cool things, and even if work sometimes blows, at lease I have countless other greats (noun) to focus on."

Thanks for listening. I just needed to talk it through.